Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fourscore and Ten

“For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.  The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.  Who knoweth the power of thine anger?  even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Psalm 90:9-12

This weekend I was able to catch a flight from Cincinnati (en route to our next meeting), and return to Denver for a special family reunion.  My grandfather turned 90 on February 7th, and nearly all of his family made the trek “home” to celebrate!  I thought of the verses quoted above because grandpa not only got his threescore and ten years (70), and the fourscore years (80) by reason of strength, but God gave him a bonus 10 years on top of all that!  I also think that my grandpa has lived verse 12 – numbering his days as he applied his heart to wisdom and the teaching of the Lord.

My grandfather married my grandmother on a short furlough from the Army in 1951.  He had been drafted for the Korean War, but by the time he was ready to ship out, things had slowed down and he never had to leave the US.  Grandma was saved during a Billy Graham crusade.  They returned to farming in Iowa and started attending the “local” Bible believing church seventeen miles away.  When Grandma wanted to be baptized, she and Grandpa met with the pastor.  However, the pastor turned his attention to Grandpa and his need of salvation.  God used the story of the publican and the Pharisee in Luke  18 to convict Grandpa of his need for salvation, and that day he accepted Christ as his personal Savior.

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
Still looking good – 64 years later!

Grandpa and Grandma have six kids here – Robin, JoEllen, Marty, Scott, Sherry (my mom), and Nathan.  Hope is in heaven.  Their family blossomed to include five spouses-in-law, twelve grandchildren, and now 16 great-grandchildren.  I truly trace my godly heritage (Psalm 16:6) to my grandparents (and how blessed I am to have Christian grandparents on both sides of my family!).  Much of the fam is still in Colorado, but we are spread from Wyoming to Texas, Ohio to Florida, and Uncle Nathan in Malaysia!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
We forged the tubing hill at Camp Eden, but while we waiting for the tubes to arrive, some of played King of the Mountain!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Wesley, Bex, Kenny

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Henry and my Uncle Scott.  He was a natural with the babies!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
My heritage – and so glad that all of my kids have been able to spend quality time with my grandparents.  They are referred to as “Old Grandma & Grandpa” around here!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
FAVORITE!!!  This picture captures the youngest member of the Paul family, and the oldest.  It’s hard to see my Grandpa getting older, but I’m so thankful for all the time we’ve had together.  Grandma & Grandpa were always there when I was growing up – every piano recital, every birthday, and everything in between.  Now I know they are some of the most faithful to pray for us and support us as we head to the Bronx.  So thankful that deputation has brought us back to Colorado several times these last two years.  I love you Grandpa!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
My cousin Kyle & his little guy Carlos.  Kyle & Krista adopted Carlos through foster care, and this is the first time I met him.

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Selah, Kinsley, & Abria giving shoulder rubs to Pat (their Grandma), Cassi, & Sarah.  First time I met Abria & Sarah, too!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Ali & Naomi.  It was nice to be togehter in person again.  Brian & Naomi were home for Christmas when Ali was about Henry’s age, and that was the last time I saw them.  They now have four girls and they were all very pleasant to be around this weekend!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)   Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Grandpa & Naomi :: Wesley & Henry.  Henry definitely made the rounds this weekend and got totally spoiled!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
Sisters – Robin, Jo, & Mom

Grandpa's 90th Birthday (from camera)
A bunch of the great-grands.  I had only met Selah before this.

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
We made a #90 out of pictures of Grandpa’s life

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
My cousin Cassi is a talented photographer and took family pictures of everyone. This was a cell phone shot, but I look forward to seeing all the other pictures!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
It was nice to see my Aunt Mary again!  Henry sure enjoyed her doting, too!

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
These two.  They always could be found around Henry!  Lydia is the youngest and enjoyed the baby time.  She is my second cousin.  Emma was the daughter of staff at Camp Eden.

Grandpa's 90th
Cake!  The 80th birthday really had 80 candles on it.  This time Grandpa didn’t have enough air (literally) to blow them out, so we opted for number candles!

Of the whole lot of us, five families are in full time ministry.  Marty and his wife founded and run Whisper Mountain Camp in the mountains of western North Carolina.  Their daughter, Cassi, and her husband Shaun also work on staff at the camp.  My cousin Brian is an assistant pastor in Springfield, OH.  He was recently ordained.  Kenny (my brother) and Becky are the youth & music directors at a church in South Florida.  Kenny was also ordained recently, in December 2015.  Ben and I are on deputation to plant a church in New York City. (And Ben will be ordained before we get there – likely toward the end of this year).

Though the rest of my cousins, aunts & uncles, and family are not in vocational ministry, nearly all of them are members at Bible believing churches and have faithfully served the Lord over the years.

What a blessing to be together with all of my cousins (except one who lives overseas) this weekend!  The last time we were all together was in 2006 when Grandpa turned 80 and we had a surprise party for him.  There were only two great-grandchildren at that time.  As part of Grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration, we all sat around and asked questions about his youth and faith.  Cassi even recorded it (so we can get the facts straight later on…).  The last question asked was, “What one thing do you want to pass on to this group – your grandchildren and great-grandchildren – after you are gone?”  In about three and a half minutes (pretty short for Grandpa!) we heard the Gospel and how Grandpa desires each one of us to accept Christ.  It was so special to hear him give testimony to his faith!

Grandpa's 80th Birthday
Cousins 10 years ago – and only two great-grands!  That party was a surprise.  Michael, Nicole, and Ayaka are not in this picture.

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
Nicole, Me, & Cassi.  We were the only girl cousins growing up.  Now we have Ayaka, but she lives overseas and couldn’t make it.

Grandpa's 90th Birthday
cousins “back in the day” – That’s Kenny & Wes on the front row, left side!

I’m so thankful for the “fourscore years and ten” given to my grandfather.  And as the Lord continues to add bonus years to his life, I’ll be thankful for each opportunity I get to spend time with him here on earth.  Then I’ll look forward to praising our Savior together around the throne in heaven!

***Disclaimer.  I reserve the right to post a lot more pictures from this weekend!  Smile

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your email address if you need a response to your comment, or check back here to see my reply in the comments section.